Being Part of God's Plan
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Mary has an honored place as being the mother of Jesus. In our Christian circles, we celebrate Mary as a virtuous young woman willfully taking on the responsibility of becoming mother of the Son of God. Still, it's easy to overlook the difficulties Mary faced in accepting this role. She was likely in her mid-teens at the time of the angel's announcement. An unmarried teen pregnancy in Jewish culture at the time would have been quite scandalous. She faced the prospect of being an outcast in her hometown. Further, imagine Mary attempting to explain the circumstances of her pregnancy to her parents and to Joseph, her fiancé. Being part of God's plan was no doubt very difficult for Mary.
One of the characteristics that set Mary apart for her role was her willing obedience. "May it be to me as you have said," was Mary's reply to the angel. This is simply amazing.
We, just like Mary, are part of God's plan to carry His light and love to a needy world. Each of us have been given different roles in His plan, but none are unimportant. It might be difficult to see ourselves as being active participants in what God is doing in the world. It's not always easy to say yes to God. Saying yes can mean facing difficulties and even persecution. But, God always provides the means of sustaining us when we choose obedience to His desires for our lives.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, remember Mary as an example of the obedience God desires of us.
- Put yourself in Mary's position. How do you think you would have responded to the angel's message?
- What makes it hard to believe that you are part of God's plan for the world?
- What can you do to become more obedient to God?
Watch the movie, The Nativity Story with your family. Afterward, use the content above to debrief, noting Mary's obedience and bringing home the concept that God calls us to similar obedience as well.